Google wants to tell the teacher on Microsoft for making its search engine the default search engine in the new version of Internet Explorer.
From the New York Times article:
The move, Google claims, limits consumer choice and is reminiscent of the tactics that got Microsoft into antitrust trouble in the late 1990’s.
Oh please. If this is the best thing Google can think of to tattle about, Google needs to cowboy up.
Ed Bott demonstrates exactly how oppressive it is to poor little Google to have to convince someone to select Google from the already-provided list of other search engines one can select as their alternative default search engine. Basically, a user clicks the box and selects Google. It takes maybe 10 seconds.
Meanwhile in Firefox (which I use as my default browser and which is very chummy with Google), Google is the default search engine. The process to make Microsoft your default search engine is substantially identical to the one used to do the reverse in Internet Explorer.
See Ed’s post for more details and screenshots.
I hope whatever authority figures Google runs to to tell this sad tale of woe laugh Google out of the building and suggest that Google stop crying over nothing.
Somewhere along the way someone decided that since Microsoft was so successful it had to stop trying to be successful. All of this jargon about default search engines and whatnot is merely a poorly disguised campaign to let a bunch of other companies leverage off of Microsoft’s prior successes. Somehow the argument has evolved from “don’t prevent my trains from running” to “I am entitled to sell tickets on your train.”
If Google wants to fully live up to its ideals – to really give primacy to the goal of user choice in search – it should open up its home page to other search engines. That would be easy to do without mucking up the page or the “user experience.” You could just add a simple drop down menu that would allow users to choose whether to do a search with Google’s engine, or Microsoft’s, or Yahoo’s, or one of the other, less-well-known engines that now exist.
Even us numbskulls can mostly grasp the goose and gander rule.
Anyway, I am no Microsoft apologist (DISCLAIMER: though I am a shareholder). I don’t even use Internet Explorer. But I know the sound of a crying baby, and that’s what I hear coming from Google’s crib.